We are now in the midst of the Aseres Y’mei T’shuva, the Ten Days of Repentance between Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur. I never really liked the translation “repentance” because it seems laced with negativity. I prefer viewing the concept of t’shuva, repentance, as return. T’shuva is returning to G-d, which is in essence returning to our true selves, our G-dly soul. Our connection is never severed, rather it is concealed or buried by the actions we have done that have been inauthentic with our true selves. By admitting and disowning those actions and resolving to not do them again, we can remove the barriers that we have erected and restore our relationship with G-d.

The concept of t’shuva is very relevant to a marriage as well. While in the beginning of a relationship it may be obvious that there is a deep connection between husband and wife, years later many couples are left feeling that it has been severed. As much as it seems true, I believe this is false. The connection is always there, it is just concealed. A husband and wife are two halves of one soul. By reconnecting they are essentially getting in touch with their whole self.

When I meet with couples for the first time, I always take them on a trip down memory lane to remember the qualities they found in each other that drew them to each other. I do this because I want them to see that there was an original connection that brought them together. And despite all of the evidence to the contrary,  that original impulse to connect provides me the hope and confidence that couples can make it through even the most challenging times.

As we reach Yom Kippur, may we be able to get in touch with our impulse to connect with G-d, with our spouse, and in all of our relationships, removing all the barriers that may be impeding our connection to wholeness.